PLESANTON, Calif., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) today launched its annual Support for People with Disabilities fundraising campaign to benefit Easter Seals, Special Olympics and an array of organizations that help people with disabilities live fuller, more independent lives.
This year, as a way to thank the thousands of customers and employees who generously support the campaign, Safeway is partnering with award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist Avril Lavigne to bring a new, exclusive video offer to the April effort.
"We are honored to be working with Avril Lavigne to build even more excitement for our disabilities campaign and give our customers something unique as a thank you for their support – exclusive access to go behind the scenes with Avril," said Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President and Chair of the Safeway Foundation.
When customers enter any Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Dominick's or Carrs store through April 30, they should look for the "Behind the Scenes with Avril Lavigne" signs near each store's entrance, grab a tear-card from the sign and bring it to the register to make a $5 donation at checkout to support services for children and adults living with disabilities. Those customers will be given a coupon and code to view exclusive videos of Avril Lavigne on tour, behind the scenes, performing from her dressing room and visiting Easter Seals programs for kids with disabilities. There's also an exclusive acoustic version of one of the singer's most popular songs.
Each year Safeway dedicates April to raising funds and bringing awareness to helping people with disabilities. While the hallmark of the campaign is a small donation at checkout, the company also uses in-store broadcasts and video messages to customers and employees to share information about breakthroughs in research and new programs that help millions of people with disabilities in North America and around the world. To date, Safeway has raised and donated more than $130 million to support organizations such as Easter Seals, Special Olympics and a range of other organizations that assist people with special needs.
"Safeway's annual fundraiser is helping to open a whole new world of possibilities and participation for countless people with disabilities," said Special Olympics President and Chief Operating Officer Brady Lum. "As a company that proudly employs thousands of people with disabilities, Safeway knows the importance of allowing people to live, work, and compete on their own terms."
"The need for services and outreach to people with disabilities is greater than ever," said James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. "We are appreciative and honored that Safeway and its thousands of employees are committed to helping Easter Seals make a significant difference. Avril Lavigne's passion for supporting youth with disabilities is a natural fit and an exciting extension to the longstanding partnership of Safeway and Easter Seals. We know she'll add so much to the April fundraiser and give donors to the campaign something special in return."
In addition to in-store campaign activities, the company will also partner with Rebuilding Together, the nation's leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership, to plan and execute home or community center rehabilitation projects that serve people with disabilities. In the coming weeks, teams of Safeway volunteers will be deployed in each of the company's key markets to assist Rebuilding Together "project managers" with various repair, landscape, paint and remodel work. This is the third consecutive year that Safeway has joined with Rebuilding Together to make homes and community centers more accessible.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. The company operates 1,678 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $43.6 billion in 2011.
About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Visit www.easterseals.com or www.makethefirstfivecount.org.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.7 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics now take place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all over the world, from community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood's backyard to World Games. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.
AvrilLavigne is a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer/ songwriter. Though most of her philanthropic efforts have been private and anonymous, Avril has publicly supported a number of charitable organizations over the years, including Easter Seals, Amnesty International, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, War Child, and YouthAIDS. Avril currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis. Avril's work with children who are seriously ill or who have disabilities inspired her to form The AvrilLavigne Foundation in 2010.
About The AvrilLavigne Foundation
Created by AvrilLavigne, The AvrilLavigne Foundation R.O.C.K.S. Respect, Opportunity, Choices, Knowledge, and Strength in support of children and youth with disabilities and illnesses. The AvrilLavigne Foundation partners with leading charitable organizations including Easter Seals to design and deliver programs, raise awareness and mobilize support for children and youth who are sick or have disabilities. In 2011, she launched The AvrilLavigneRockstar Club at Easter Seals, providing recreational programs for youth with disabilities through Easter Seals, helping kids find their inner rockstar, build their talents, make friends and have fun. More information can be found at www.theavrillavignefoundation.org.
Kristen Barnfield, Easter Seals
Teena Massingill, Safeway Inc.
SOURCE Safeway Inc.